Taking part in this year’s Cancer Research UK Race For Life for Leamington mum Jodie Rigby-Mee was special for lots of reasons.
Not only was she the first mum-with-pushchair to cross the finish line at the event at Stoneleigh Park, but Jodie was also marking a year since she ran the 5k course when she was 41 weeks pregnant - 12 hours after which she was in full labour.
Despite being a week past her due date, Jodie, who has had family members affected by cancer, decided to take part - but about three quarters of the way through, she realised she was having contractions.
She said: “I had started to feel a little strange but just thought I maybe pushing myself too hard. Who knew 12 hours later I would be in full labour! They always said walking can help bring on labour but I never thought it might actually happen.”
So it was important for Jodie to bring back her baby son Jenson, who celebrated his first birthday on July 1, to take part in this year’s event so he could see the event that had helped to bring him into the world.
And having lost three stone since giving birth with the help of Slimming World, running the course was no problem for Jodie. She has lost more than nine stone in total through attending the classes and is now a consultant for the association’s Friday morning group in Leamington.
Jodie said: “The Race for Life is a cause very close to my heart and I found the event a heart-warming and touching experience. I used to really struggle with exercise and found it really daunting taking those first steps to becoming more active.
“There’s no rule that says being active has to involve a gym or running shorts – walking to collect my children from school or hitting the dance floor on a night out is enough to complement my weight loss beautifully.
“I definitely wouldn’t have entered a distance race before I found Slimming World, but since losing weight I’m feeling much healthier, happier and more confident – I’m so proud of myself and I know my friends and family are too.”
Around 6,000 people took part in this year’s Coventry and Warwickshire Race For Life, which is now in its 20th year and took place at Stoneleigh Park on June 29. Jodie took part with fellow members of her Slimming World group, while Slimming World groups across the country have signed up to take part in Race For Life events in their locations. Proceeds will go to Cancer Research UK.